The Amount Of Honesty

Yesterday, my husband found $600 at his job site. The amount is a guess. I assume it was more -four hundred dollar bills, fifty and twenties, a few tens, and no telling what was in the envelope.

“I gave it to Butch” who happens to be the supervisor on this job.

Right now they are emptying out desks that have been left behind when COVID hit. A very large office building of a very well-known insurance company is emptying all cubicles and offices. New modular furniture systems and hard wall offices will soon be configured and installed to be ready for the returning work crew.

My husband and three others work on an almost empty floor. Nobody has sat on these desks since the spring of 2020 when we all were ordered to stay home for a little bit.

Every night my husband comes home and brings me office stuff that they have been ordered to throw away. The time when we were houseless (homeless) has left marks on my soul, certain behaviors I detect today I developed after we got back on our feet. My husband has scars as well. He cannot throw things away.

When you have almost nothing, you cherish everything. Letting go and throwing slightly used items and fully functioning things away is something my husband can not bare.

We have made a deal. After he is permitted to ‘rescue’ another wireless keyboard or another expensive surge protector from the dumpster he brings it home and I am the one who decided if we keep it or donate it.

I just spent months last year decluttering the Japanese way, I will not allow (and I type it with a smile on my face because I know how it might make me look) to have my house cluttered again. We had too much we didn’t need. Now everything in our house has a home, and what we have is either useful or brings joy to us -which was also determined by me, the queen of our castle.

I am typing this on a brand-new wireless keyboard, which was supposed to be thrown in a dumpster this week. Why don’t they donate it you wonder? We have wondered the same.

They don’t donate because it would require trucks and truck drivers to pick up and deliver. It would require manpower to load and unload, fuel, and insurance to cover all possible liabilities -nobody wants to mess with it.

A small cash box with money had been left behind. Whose is it?

For my husband, it didn’t matter. He broke into the cash box because he wants to make sure nothing valuable or personal is thrown out by accident and when he saw the cash, he turned it in. Knowing him I would say he opens them because he is nosy -and he would agree.

“For a split second I thought about keeping it,” he told me, “but how would I sleep at night?”

When he told me I had mixed feelings.

$600, I wondered what I would have done.

We have both been working so hard to make ends meet. The last four years were not easy on him or me. My husband’s work-related injury in December 2018, his heart surgery in 2019, and his shoulder replacement surgery (the worker’s compensation we had to fight so hard for) right before COVID, it all was a lot to overcome. He is on light duty for 1588 days. We have lost over $40,000 because of an injury that was caused by an oil-water spill someone left unattended.

I just overbooked and overworked myself for months to make a new commercial sewing machine happen. $600 extra would have been something like a blessing.

Would it have been a gift?

I want to believe I would have turned the money in as well. After all, I give all my customers the findings back and you won’t believe what I find hidden inside furniture. Silver utensils, money, toys, lighters, letters, credit cards, keys, and of course jewelry.

I decided a long time ago that honesty doesn’t have a price tag.

I am so proud of my husband. He is an honest man, always has been, and whatever happened to us in the past or whatever we might have to face in the future, knowing this makes me very proud.

The picture of the money and the cash box was taken as proof of what had been found.

A close buy security guard had been called, and after giving his badge and name, he now has the cash box and its content and hopefully, it will find its rightful owner. I assume it belongs to the company.

I am sharing this because last week I decided to continue my “Losing it All” series here on my blog. I will continue writing about our time in Memphis after we had been houseless/homeless for half a year and honesty (and/or stupidity) played a big part in our life back then.

I will try to turn “Losing it All” into a book. It’s now #13 on my new updated bucket list.

My husband is a rich man, he has integrity, character, values, and morals. I guess that makes me a rich woman.


43 thoughts on “The Amount Of Honesty

  1. As I was reading this post, I had other things to do but kept the page open so that I would come back and read the rest. What an attention grabber! The book that you will write is a worthy project and you have just created some really good karma in handing in the money. Thank goodness for people like you. You don’t know exactly the circumstances for which the person left the money, perhaps they passed away from Covid or retired unexpectedly and lockdowns prevented them from returning. Although I do wonder why someone would feel comfortable with that sun of money sitting in a work drawer. Was it a petty cash or office funds for a Xmas party?
    I lost my handbag with with $500 it over 40 years ago, at a time when money was tight. The handbag was returned weeks later minus the cash. I was grateful to have the contents back but I had already replaced my license and cards by that time.
    But then recently I left my wallet at a grocery store and all the contents were returned intact when I realised the next morning and called the store. It was such a relief and a lovely reminder that honesty can trigger an intense feeling of relief and happiness for another person. And who would not want to be an instigator of that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had a similar experience years ago, way back then when we still stopped at a phone booth when we were on the road and needed to make a call. I was somewhere in the middle of nowhere, trying to find the road that would bring me to a dog trainer. I stopped, looked the trainer up in the phonebook and got directions over the phone.
      When I wanted to pay him, I noticed that my wallet was missing. I had left it in the phone booth. I myself had been hiding it under the book, when I opened it.
      I drove back, stopped at the phone booth and my wallet -and everything in it- was still there.
      I have had a lot of good experiences in my life, also some bad ones. I remember them both.
      There are a lot of good and honest people out there. I try to focus on them (because I try really hard to not lose my marbles).


  2. Although I think it was the right thing to do, some part of me thinks that those who leave 600 bucks in an office drawer never to pick it up again probably wouldn’t need it as much as you do. Anyhow, your husband is an honest man, and that’s worth much more than a few hundred…!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “How will I sleep at night?” warmed my heart to the core. I have been through some dark times, and still struggling to make ends meet, so I have nothing much to offer except for a small prayer for both of you. May the Holy Spirit bless you with such abundance, that comfort and peace come to you rightfully and honorably. Amen. ๐Ÿ™

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s hard for me to hear about the things that are simply thrown away, but I know this kind of “purging” is performed every day. I am glad you are on the receiving end to make some personal decisions. And of course your husband is an honest man! I already knew that. ๐Ÿ™‚ Everything you’ve shared about yourselves points to honesty and integrity. But we are human. I can imagine there was at least a moment or two of wrestling with “what if?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sure my husband thought about just taking it as well, but knowing him, not for long. He is an honest guy.
      I questioned the waste in those office once and have learned that they get their budget cut if they don’t use it, so they use it. It doesn’t make any sense, but I suppose that’s how our economy works.


  5. Honesty is an admirable trait. When I worked as a construction project manager for a bank, it was my job to ensure anything removed or thrown out was empty. I was always finding money (bank) and I always turned it in. Happy Thursday. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are right to feel proud and both of you are stronger for that thread of integrity that binds you together. Turning your past experiences into a book is an excellent idea. Your episodes thus far have taught many of us a thing or two!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. You have every reason to be proud of your husband! No doubt, he feels the same way about you in returning the hidden treasures you find in your clients’ furniture ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward to reading the new chapters of your โ€œLosing it Allโ€ memoir.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Oh, itโ€™s stories like this that undo all the hopelessness I can occasionally get bogged down in when dwelling on the baser aspects of human nature. โ€œ( ) how would I sleep at night?โ€ says it ALL. I know I wouldnโ€™t be able to sleep either… Tell your husband thanks from me because you two just made my day. And oh, I am so sorry youโ€™ve both had such a rough run…๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™

    Liked by 4 people

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